The Regional Blood Transfusion Centre (RBFC) of the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) has finally got the approval to start plasma therapy for Covid positive patients.
Mridumoy Das, the RBFC director, said they had come to know that the state drug control authority had approved their request to start plasma therapy.
“However, certain details have to be finalised. We need to know by when we can start collecting plasma, what would be charged from the patients who get this treatment and how the therapy would be carried out,” said Das.
Following the Covid-19 outbreak, plasma therapy has already started in Calcutta and some other states of the country.
This treatment involves collecting antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from Covid and transfusing it into a coronavirus infected patient. It stimulates the immune system of the patient to help him combat the infection.
In Siliguri, a dentist who had recovered from Covid-19 had approached the NBMCH authorities here and offered his plasma for therapy on a patient who was critical.
However, as the authorities did not have approval from the state then, they could not proceed with the plasma therapy. The patient later died.
A senior doctor at the NBMCH said critically ill Covid patients could get this therapy, provided their families agreed.
“There are many people in north Bengal who have recovered from the infection and are ready to donate their plasma. We feel that this therapy can help in places like Siliguri and Malda where the number of Covid cases has steadily risen,” he said.
Das also said that they did not need the sophisticated plasmapheresis machine right now as the regional transfusion centre had four refrigerated centrifuge machines.
“We can use the centrifuge machines that remove cells from plasma by centrifugation,” Das explained.